Yes, we offer people a physical space to get out of the house, but it is so much more than that. Everyone who walks in leaves with so much more than what they came in with.”Terell Johnson, Founder La Create Space
For many across the globe, Covid has been marked by loneliness, but there have also been incredible examples of people coming together to learn from and lean on one another.
Marisa and Terell Johnson are two people who have spent this time creating a safety net for others. In 2018, the couple founded La Create Space, a sleek co-working space offering members access to private offices, conference rooms, podcast studios and multipurpose rooms as well as educational tools, resources and networking opportunities. When Covid hit, not only did they have to work to ensure the safety of their own business, but they also vowed to stay committed to helping their members thrive during these trying times.
Using their corporate tech backgrounds, the Johnsons have continued to empower the members of La CreateSpace, which is based in Inglewood and predominately made up of black and brown communities, by adding to their offerings and developing a virtual membership platform.
Q&A With Marisa & Terell Johnson, Founders of La Create Space
Why was it important for your space to be in Inglewood?
“We wanted to provide a space for people who needed a place to go to work. Walking around downtown, we noticed there really weren’t a lot of spaces to go. Our community is really underserved and under developed. We know that there are a lot of creatives and small businesses so providing these resources gave us a great way to empower the people here. You can show people where the water is, but it’s even more important to teach them how to fish.”
How do you set yourself apart from other work spaces like WeWork?
“With WeWork, you pay, find a seat or a conference room and you leave. With us, we take a vested interest in all of our members. We provide a consultation to figure out their needs, and offer various levels of membership, engagements and support models to take them on a journey and set them up on a path to success. We connect members of our community and help them identify the tools they need to make their lives easier and help their businesses grow.”
What needs did you address for your members when Covid hit?
“When Covid hit and business shut down, we had to learn what the rules were so that we could help people navigate that. We were able to provide people in our community solutions, such as setting up booking apps, websites, and e-payments so they could stay afloat. Currently the majority of our members are virtual. Right now we can’t have a traditional co-working model so we’re shifting to a stricter membership model. Some of our businesses are essential so we will be reopening with hand sanitizers, air purifiers and other precautions.”
Tell us more about your virtual community.
It is a place where all of our members can come together, see each other and share their wins, losses and struggles with one another. We’re also curating monthly workshops and classes on topics such as creating podcasts, getting started with video editing, and brand building. Once our space opens up, we’ll also host events in addition to our virtual offerings.”
Personally what have you learned over the past year and how have you been doing?
On the positive side, we were already set up with our payroll, email systems and communications so we were able to take advantage of government aid. A lot of people missed out on that because they weren’t able to provide proper documentation. That is something that we have been sharing with people because if something like this were to happen again, they need to know if they are prepared. Mentally, we’re both do’ers so being in the house was probably the hardest part, but we did get to spend more time with our kids so we’re really taking the time to reflect and appreciate our family.”
Marisa and Terell Johnson
La Create Space, Founders
Marisa and Terell Johnson are empowering the community of Inglewood by providing a membership-based co-working community, event space, and resource for collaboration.